The Dubai Desert: Sandboarding in the dunes

Looking for some action during your vacation in Dubai? Grab a board and go sandboarding in the desert!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

8 min read

The Dubai Desert: Sandboarding in the dunes

Sandboarding in the dunes | ©Dener Vieira

Fancy a thrilling adventure in the desert of Dubai? Experience the risk and adrenaline of climbing the towering dunes of the Lahbab desert to slide on a board at full speed to the ground. You will not have experienced anything like it!

From 45 € you can practice sandboarding in the desert of Dubai and complement this experience with other types of risk sports. In addition, there will also be time to relax while contemplating the beautiful scenery and recharge your batteries Bedouin style.

You choose how much time you spend there, but I warn you that once you try it you will want to stay as long as possible. This is one of the must-do plans in the city, so let's see in detail what these sandboarding excursions in the desert of Dubai are all about!

1. What is the Dubai desert sandboarding excursion like?

Sandboarding in Dubai| ©Mitch Altman
Sandboarding in Dubai| ©Mitch Altman

If you have never sandboarded before, you will have the opportunity to do it in Dubai during a desert tour- it's a blast!

In addition to experiencing the adrenaline rush of gliding over the dunes, you can also experience other adventurous activities such as dune bashing in a 4x4 off-road vehicle or driving a quad bike at full speed. If you are attracted to risk and action, you definitely have to try it.

Later in these excursions, there will be time to relax and enjoy the authentic Bedouin lifestyle by also attending a lunch or dinner in the desert with entertainment and various workshops related to the Arab culture.

What do these excursions usually include?

  • Sandboarding in the Dubai Desert
  • Dunebashing with professional driver
  • Quad biking
  • Short camel rides
  • Stopover in the desert to watch the sunset
  • Lunch or dinner with show and workshops
  • Transfer to and from hotel
  • English speaking licensed safari guide

What is sandboarding?

It basically consists of riding a board similar to snowboarding down the sand dunes making movements similar to surfing or skateboarding, since the feet are supported in the same way and the pressure to perform the tricks is very similar.

If you have some notions about these two sports, sandboarding in the desert of Dubai will be very easy for you. However, if it's your first time, it won't be too difficult to get used to the dynamics once you get the hang of the technique. During this type of excursion, you will receive some instruction from an instructor before you start, which will help you get the most out of the experience.

Although sandboarding is considered an extreme sport, it is less risky for beginners than other sports because the sand is quite soft and flexible, which will cushion the falls and you won't get hurt as much.

However, when sliding down the dunes you can reach a high speed (especially the higher you get) and the sand being an irregular surface you can find 'pits' in your path that produce an effect similar to that caused by breaking waves.

This makes sandboarding an exciting and thrilling sport but to enjoy it safely you will need to put on protective gear provided with helmet, knee and elbow pads.

Where does sandboarding take place in Dubai?

Normally these excursions take place in the Lahbab desert, a unique location in the area characterized by its large red sand dunes where you will experience an exciting adventure and contemplate one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

Book a sandboarding excursion in Dubai

2. What is the price of sandboarding tours in the Dubai desert?

Family Sandboarding| ©Jean and Fred
Family Sandboarding| ©Jean and Fred

From 45 ¤ you can practice sandboarding in the desert of Dubai by booking your tickets on Hellotickets to join an excursion where you can not only have fun surfing the dunes but also spend a day outdoors doing other sports activities such as quad biking, dune bashing in 4x4 or camel safaris, to name a few examples.

In addition, these excursions usually include brunches or dinners with show in the desert to complete the experience, and the truth is that they are really cool! In the post Excursions with dinner and show in the desert of Dubai I tell you what they consist of.

Maybe you have considered living this adventure on your own but you should know that this option is not possible since the only way allowed is to hire the activity with a local operator due to the risk that some of the adventure sports that are practiced have. For sandboarding in the dubai desert there are many excursions available.

If you want to know more about the cost of this activity, I recommend you to read the post How much does it cost to visit the dubai desert: excursion prices. This way you will have more information to book the one that best suits your budget and your pocket.

Book a sandboarding tour in Dubai

3. What time to choose for sandboarding in the dubai desert?

Sunset Sandboarding| ©Tomáš Malík
Sunset Sandboarding| ©Tomáš Malík

There are morning and afternoon times for sandboarding in the Dubai desert but choosing one will really depend on your plans in the city and how much free time you have to do this activity.

Afternoon schedule, for a total experience

In my opinion, the sandboarding experience in the dunes is much more complete if you choose an afternoon schedule because in addition to this and other adventure sports you can also watch the sunset in an incomparable setting and then dine under the stars in a Bedouin camp. Something that morning tours do not usually include and it is truly an amazing experience that you can not miss during your trip.

Dubai desert tours in the afternoon usually start around 2:30 PM or 3 PM to take advantage of the afternoon in the desert and do other adventure activities such as dunebashing in 4x4, quad biking or camel riding. When the sun goes down, the dinner with a show begins.

They usually last around 6 or 7 hours and are the longest. Afternoon excursions are a good option if you have planned to stay in Dubai for at least 4 or 5 days.

Morning schedule, if you are short of time

If the afternoon schedule doesn't suit you because you have other plans scheduled, another possibility is to go sandboarding in the dunes in the morning.

This type of activity usually starts between 7 and 10 AM, depending on the time you choose. They are a good option if you do not tolerate the heat too much and prefer to get up early to take advantage of the milder temperatures in the early hours of the day.

Generally, morning sandboarding tours in the desert of Dubai usually last about 4 hours, which is a good option if you do not have much free time but you do not want to miss this experience for anything in the world.

However, some of them can last a little longer if they include a small brunch with Arabic tea and gahwa (coffee), gaymat (sweets), dates, fruits and soft drinks.

If you plan to spend little time in Dubai, for example 2 days in Dubai or 3 days in Dubai is the best option as it will leave you the afternoon free to do other things.

And what day of the week to choose for sandboarding in Dubai?

In Islamic culture, Friday is the weekly day of rest so many stores are closed on that day and there is not much to do in Dubai.

Therefore, this is a good time to get out of the city and take a short trip to the desert to enjoy outdoor adventure sports such as sandboarding.

4. What is the best time of the year to go sandboarding in the Dubai desert?

Making the most of your excursion| ©Wesley & Brandon Rosenblum
Making the most of your excursion| ©Wesley & Brandon Rosenblum

The climate in Dubai is a subtropical desert type, so it is always going to be quite hot in the city no matter what time of year you choose to practice this adventure sport.

However, depending on the time of year you travel, the thermometers can be either scorching hot or bearable warm. Those few degrees of difference are everything for a much more pleasant experience sandboarding in the dunes.

So, when organizing a trip to the desert of Dubai, my recommendation is to choose autumn or winter (when the heat is a little milder) and avoid summer (when the thermometers soar and the atmosphere is an embarrassment).

However, if you would like to know more in detail about the climate of this city do not miss the post Best time to travel to Dubai, it will surely help you decide!

5. Tips for visiting the desert of Dubai and sandboarding

Sandboarding in the Dunes| ©Ray
Sandboarding in the Dunes| ©Ray
  • Sandboarding is an adventure sport that involves certain risks. When practicing it in the desert of Dubai I advise you to take out insurance in case, unfortunately, some kind of incident should happen. Normally these excursions usually have insurance, but just in case, have your own. Health care in Dubai is very expensive.
  • Carry some medicine for motion sickness in your backpack. In addition to sandboarding, during the tour you will also be dunebashing in 4WD or quad biking, activities that could make you feel nauseous on the tour. Also include something for the headache that the intense heat can cause.
  • Also, don't forget to hydrate frequently. Bring water and an isotonic drink to replenish your energy during the activity - you'll be working hard!
  • The sun in the Dubai desert shines brightly and it is easy to burn your skin. To avoid this, pack a bottle of sunscreen with SPF 50 in your backpack, as well as a hat and sunglasses.
  • As for clothing, I advise you to wear loose-fitting clothes made of cool fabrics such as cotton or linen that cover the whole body. It is very hot in the desert of Dubai and this type of clothing will help protect you.
  • Regarding footwear, do not wear sandals or open-toed shoes for sandboarding. Sand will get into your feet and it is not suitable for this sport. Instead, wear closed shoes that are comfortable for walking in the desert.
  • Take your camera and phone well charged to take pictures and videos during the excursion - you don't want to run out of power half way through! There is no reception in the desert so you will have to wait until you get back to the hotel to upload them to social media.

6. What other extreme sports can you do in the Dubai desert?

Enjoying the excursion| ©Adrien Delforge
Enjoying the excursion| ©Adrien Delforge

In addition to sandboarding, in Dubai you can also experience an adrenaline rush by doing buggy or quad excursions with which you will have the feeling of flying over the desert.

You will have time to drive these vehicles and see on the route beautiful natural spaces that you can't imagine. Dunes, palm groves and camels everywhere!

If you want to know in detail what these excursions consist of, I recommend you to read the posts The Dubai Desert: Quad adventure or The Dubai Desert: buggy excursions.

In the post Tips for visiting the Dubai desert you can read more recommendations that will help you to make the most of your experience in the dunes.

Book an activity tour to the Dubai Desert